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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (10/24/06)
Contact: Tom Kelley
YOUNGSTERS SHINE IN SARAH MYERS STAKES
The 2006 Sarah Myers Stakes, the final “major” test for Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-olds, concluded on Tuesday night with trotters getting top billing on the 11-race program.
A full field of 10 trotting fillies was sent postward in race three with a purse of $36,000 on the line. With possible divisional honors at stake Blackfoot Farms Mogo On The Gogogo stepped to the head of the class with a convincing 3 ¼ length triumph in 2:00.3.
Taking advantage of the inside starting spot and a break behind the gate by post time favorite Victor’s Phantom, driver Dave Magee hustled Mogo On The Gogogo away as soon as the wings of the starting gate folded. Trotting comfortably on the engine the John Butenschoen trainee rolled through an opening quarter in 29.1.
On the backside Magee was forced to relinquish the top spot to a hard charging Maple Grove Native (Homer Hochstetler). These two then proceeded to pull three lengths clear of the third place filly, Gumcorner Flo (Connel Willis), as the field reached the half-mile mark in 58.4.
Midway around the final turn disaster struck for Maple Grove Native who went off stride. That miscue allowed Magee to slip through along the pylons and the Hall of Famer had Mogo On The Gogogo back in charge as she strolled by the three-quarter-mile station in 1:30.0.
In the stretch a tenacious Mogo On The Gogogo continued to show the way as Tim Tetrick and Fox Valley Deja came calling on the outside. Gumcorner Flo was still right in the thick of things as well just two lengths behind the embattled leaders. Trotting strongly through the final sixteenth of a mile Mogo On The Gogogo rebuffed the challenge of Fox Valley Deja, drawing clear to win by a widening margin. Fox Valley Deja held on for second while Gumcorner Flo turned the ground-saving trip into a third place check.
Mogo On The Gogogo now owns a record of five wins, two seconds and one third in 10 starts this season. The winner’s check of $18,000 helped boost the daughter of Valley Victor’s earnings to $78,140. Sent off as the second choice in the wagering Mogo On The Gogogo returned $6.00, $3.80 & $2.80.
There was no such drama in the $34,000 colt division of the Sarah Myers as Bruce & Dean Alexander and Connie & Homer Hochstetler’s Vapor Maker easily dispatched of six rivals with a 6 ¾ length wire to wire romp in 1:58.2.
Bet as though defeat was out of the question, the 1-9 favorite was handled as such by driver Brent Holland. Pointed right for the front from post position two Vapor Maker easily grabbed command in the first turn leading the field through an opening split of 29.2.
With three of his six rivals making breaks before the midway point of the race, Vapor Maker was under no pressure whatsoever as he trotted past the half-mile pole in 58.3.
Holland then put the breaks on heading around the final turn “stealing” a 30.0 quarter. Looking fit and fresh the son of Vaporize led the rest of the youngsters by 1 ½ lengths as he reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:28.3.
Leaving his rivals in his dust, the issue was never in doubt as Vapor Maker quickly opened up a four-length advantage by the mid-stretch call. The “chalk” players never broke a sweat as the Homer Hochstetler trainee continued to pour it on en route to his third straight victory. Boston Pops (Ron Marsh), a 40-1 outsider, was one of the few that did not commit a miscue which led to a nice second place check. Lofty Game (Andy Miller), who made a break in the first turn, wound up passing some late breakers to finish third some 19 lengths behind the winner.
This late blooming gelding has now won five of his last seven starts. Coupled with two second place finishes during that period Vapor Maker now boasts over $93,000 in earnings during his freshman campaign. Vapor Maker returned just $2.20, $2.10 & $2.10 to his legion of backers.
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